Good afternoon all!
My daughter and I recently went on our first camping trip. It was a laid back job for one night, just to get her used to the idea and to make sure I have all the right kit for a longer camp.
We went to a place called Llyn Gwnnant in Snowdonia. It’s a ‘close to nature’ type camp site, so radios etc are banned. On arrival we met up with some good friends who had also brought their kids hoping for a relaxed holiday away from home.
We had a look around the site and it really is a beautiful place. There’s a lake there which is ideal for kids to play in and it’s really shallow in places and very clean. There are ducks waddling around with their ducklings following after them – it’s all very cute and the kids were delighted.
There’s a pizza shop there for anyone who didn’t bring food, but we decided to bring everything with us (I did sample a bit and it was great!). Get in early there early though, unless you want a long wait.
It was a little windy on arrival but nothing too bad. It was excellent kite flying conditions, although we managed to destroy ours in a crash landing – good job it cost 69p for Morriosns!
We had set the tent up in a good area near some tree cover to keep the sun off the tent in the morning. We were also right next to the water supply – very handy!
After having stayed at the Llyn Gwnnant camp site and experienced what can only be described as ‘nearly’ the worst possible overnight weather, I’ve decided to share some advice for first time campers, some obvious – some not so obvious.
Your tent should not be a two man pop up tent – these are more for festival/good conditions and don’t retain their shape well in high winds. Wind force in heavy rain also reduces the materials capacity to stay water resistant, so keeping a strong frame will allow the wind to blow water off. Buy a tent that has guy line attachments to keep the frame in place. This reduces movement and noise for a better nights sleep.
Do not buy a tent with a normal level Hydrostatic Head (2000). Your groundsheet should be about 10,000 HH and I’d recommend a tent flysheet minimum of 3,000 HH. Also, go for a double skin model with good ventilation. Try and find one with a vestibule so you’ve somewhere dry to change your muddy boots/store your gear.
Bring a cool box – freeze bottles of water to keep it cool with normal freeze blocks too.
Pack things like beans, soup, noodles, eggs, thin sausages (cook faster), pitta bread, pasta, cheese and grapes. Make up a simple meal to eat on your first night EG Chilli.
Drinks – Juice, coffee and don’t forget the beer!
Stuff to remember for the kids:
Knickers and more knickers!
Tablet with games/movies & headphones
Kids magazine with fun activities
Glow sticks at night so you don’t waste batteries
Insect repellent or/and an anti insect band
Potty (for an en suite tent)
Swiss Army Knife (keep on your person at all times) [tin opener, can opener, wood saw, knife]
Back up USB battery for phones etc.
Self inflating camping mats and pillows
Hoodies to keep you warm and insects at bay
Check the mobile signal / data coverage and plan ahead.
Pack light – don’t over complicate anything because the more simple something is, the better!.
Websites to check out/ Buy gear: